Tag Archive for: Game of Scones

Living Under An Assumed Name

Guest Post by Mary Lee Ashford

Huge thanks to Linda Rodriguez who very kindly offered me her spot this month to talk about my new identity and my new series. Thanks, Linda!

You know, I’ve always thought it would be fun to have a secret identity. An assumed name. Perhaps a name that’s mysterious and dangerous sounding. And now I have one, an assumed name that is. Only it’s not very dangerous sounding and it’s definitely not something I want to keep secret.

We’re all familiar with pseudonyms or the fancier term, nom de plumes. However, I never imagined when I started writing that I’d have more than one pen name. Initially I assumed I’d write under my own name. Instead I have two pen names: Sparkle Abbey, where I’m half of a writing team, and now also, Mary Lee Ashford, where I’m writing a new cozy mystery series for Kensington Books/Lyrical Press.

I’m so excited about this series and it has been such a joy to write on so many different levels. First off, I’ve read culinary mysteries for years and jumped at the chance to try my hand at one. Also, this series is set in a fictional small town in the midwest and it’s been fun to be able to put into the books all the things I love about small towns.

Additionally, for me, it’s always about the characters. That’s where it all starts. So I’ve loved the opportunity to develop Sugar Calloway and Dixie Spicer, the not-to-be-stopped ladies who drive the story. Sugar and Dixie have each had some things in their lives that didn’t turn out exactly as planned. (Haven’t we all?) They are both ready to start a new chapter and are well on their way but then…life throws another curve ball and suddenly they’re in the midst of a murder investigation. (By the way, if you’re reading this and you’re a writer, Linda Rodriguez has a fabulous book on characters: Plotting the Character Driven Novel.)

Here’s a little bit more about the first book, GAME OF SCONES,  which just came out this week:

After losing her job as food editor at a glossy magazine, Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway—aka “Sugar” to friends—isn’t sweet on accepting defeat and crawling back to her gossipy southern hometown. So when she has an opportunity to launch a community cookbook business with blue-ribbon baker Dixie Spicer in peaceful St. Ignatius, Iowa, she jumps at the chance to start over from scratch.

But as Sugar assembles recipes for the local centennial celebration, it’s not long before she’s up to her oven mitts in explosive threats, too-hot-to-handle scandals, and a dead body belonging to the moody matriarch of the town’s first family. With suspicions running wild, Sugar and Spice must solve the murder before someone innocent takes the heat—and the real culprit gathers enough ingredients to strike again . . .

The second book in the series, RISKY BISCUITS, will be out in July of 2019. And I’m working on book three right now so stay tuned for more news on that!
GAME OF SCONES is available at all your favorite places to buy books: 
If you’d like to stay in touch with the new me (and I hope you do) please visit my website MaryLeeAshford.com and sign up for my newsletter. 
You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, and I have tons of tasty recipes on Pinterest. #GameOfScones #RecipesToDieFor #SugarAndSpiceMystery
Again, thank-you Linda for inviting me to step in on your day to introduce my new series…and my new identity. 

The Next Big Thing

by Sparkle Abbey

Everyone has dreams and aspirations. We certainly have big dreams! But why do some people achieve their dreams and others struggle? We believe it comes down to one word—action. We strongly believe setting goals, creating a plan, and working hard creates success. You’ve probably read a blog or two by us about goal setting. We love goals! They give us a clear picture of what we want and help us map out how to get there.

All of our writer friends know that as 2018 comes to a close, we will kick off 2019 with new goals and an action plan to turn those new Sparkle Abbey dreams into reality. It never takes long for someone to ask us, “What are you working on now?” We love that question for a number of reasons—to test new titles, to talk about the newest Sparkle Abbey project, and to talk about our individual projects.

Game of Scone CoverAh, yes. . . . Individual projects. Maybe you’ve heard that Sparkle, aka Mary Lee, has been diligently working on her own cozy mystery series under the name of Mary Lee Ashford. We are thrilled to announce that book one, Game of Scones, debuted this week!

It’s the first in a new series called the Sugar & Spice mysteries and we think you’ll see some similarities to our Pampered Pets books  – cozy, twisty, and with a dollop of humor. 

The publisher, Kensington Books/Lyrical Press describes it like this: 

As co-owner of Sugar and Spice Cookbooks, Sugar Calloway has seen simple confections bring friends together and spark fiery feuds. Except this time, the recipe truly is to die for . . . 

We hope you’ll check out Game of Scones and celebrate with us the realization of another dream. And as 2018 comes to a close, we wish you much success as you work toward your own goals in 2019. 

Special Pricing!

Also one last piece of fun news: Raiders of the Lost Bark, book eight in our Pampered Pets series is on sale for 99¢ in all eBook formats. 

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo iTunes

Sparkle Abbey is the pseudonym of two mystery authors (Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter). They are friends and neighbors as well as co-writers of the Pampered Pets Mystery Series. The pen name was created by combining the names of their rescue pets–Sparkle (Mary Lee’s cat) and Abbey (Anita’s dog). If you want to make sure you’re up on all the Sparkle Abbey news, stop by their website and sign up for updates at sparkleabbey.com.